What to Expect From the Refugee Appeal Process
If the Refugee Protection Division refuses your refugee claim or the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada appeals the positive decision to accept your claim, Gerami Law Professional Corporation (PC) can help you navigate this complex process. Our team of experienced lawyers practice exclusively in refugee and immigration law and have successfully represented numerous refugee claimants on appeal.Our lawyers are well versed in a trauma centered approach that allows space and time for our clients to share their stories.
What To Do If your Refugee Claim is Refused
After you have received a negative decision from the Refugee Protection Division and decide to consult with a lawyer at Gerami Law PC, you will meet privately with one of our lawyers who will review the reasons for your negative decision, advise you on your right to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
If you have a right of appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division, you will be advised of the following important upcoming deadlines:
- You must submit your notice of appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division within 15 days of the date you received your negative decision*
- You must submit your refugee appeal record to the Refugee Appeal Division within 30 days of the date you received your negative decision*
*Please note: these timelines are currently impacted due to the COVID-19 outbreak – we will advise you on the current special measures in place by the Immigration and Refugee Board.
We recommend that you retain a lawyer as soon as possible after you receive a negative decision from the Refugee Protection Division, as there is a short timeline to file your appeal materials.
Representation On Your Appeal
After you decide that you want Gerami Law PC to represent you on your appeal, your lawyer will prepare your notice of appeal and submit your notice, along with a request for the audio of your hearing before the Refugee Protection Division if you do not already have a copy, and submit these to the Immigration and Refugee Board on your behalf.Your lawyer will also ask you to obtain a copy of your file from your previous lawyer and assist you in obtaining your file if you require assistance.
If you have already missed the deadline to either submit your notice of appeal or submit your appeal record, we can assist you in submitting an application for an extension of time to file or perfect an appeal. This must be done in writing and include the documents that you did not file on time. The Refugee Appeal Division will then consider the reasons provided and allow or dismiss your application for an extension of time.
Your lawyer will also discuss any new evidence you may wish to file on appeal and advise you in this regard. You may submit new evidence if you can show the following:
- The evidence arose after your refugee claim was refused
- The evidence was not ‘reasonably’ available before your claim was refused
- You could not have reasonably been expected to present the evidence before your claim was refused
If you plan to submit new evidence your lawyer will work with you to draft a statutory declaration which describes how you obtained this evidence and how it relates to your appeal. Your lawyer may also discuss whether requesting an oral hearing before the Refugee Appeal Division is recommended in your case.
Your lawyer will then review your previously submitted record before the Refugee Protection Division, including your personal evidence and country condition evidence and narrative. They may also listen to the audio of your hearing.
They will then prepare legal arguments challenging the Board Member’s decision, which may include breaches of procedural fairness, unreasonable findings, and errors in law and/or fact. If you submit new evidence on your appeal, your lawyer’s legal arguments will address why this evidence should be accepted and meets the legal test on new evidence on appeal.
Gerami Law PC will then submit your appeal record on your behalf and remain your point of contact between the Refugee Appeal Division until a decision is made on your appeal.
If new evidence arises after your appeal record is submitted, which you would like to present in support of your appeal, your lawyer may be able to advise on the merits of submitting an application of new evidence to the Refugee Appeal Division
If the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship intervenes in your appeal, you have the right to reply to their intervention. Your lawyer will explain this process to you.
If The Minister of Immigration, Refugees And Citizenship Appeals Your Positive Decision
If the Minister appeals your case, Gerami Law PC will similarly assist you in challenging this appeal.
Will There Be A Hearing?
In most cases there is no oral hearing before the Refugee Appeal Division. The Refugee Appeal Division reviews the documents filed in support of your appeal and makes a decision on this basis. You may request an oral hearing and/or the Refugee Appeal Division can decide to have an oral hearing if the evidence filed in your appeal:
- Raises a serious issue about the claimant’s credibility
- Is central to the decision
- If accepted, would justify allowing or rejecting the refugee protection claim
Generally, a single member of the Refugee Appeal Division decides the appeal. However, sometimes there is a three-member panel.
In deciding the appeal, the Refugee Appeal Division can either:
- Confirm the decision
- Set aside the Refugee Protection Division’s decision and substitute its own decision
- Send the claim back to Refugee Protection Division for re-determination
The decision will be given in writing regardless of if an oral hearing takes place, and will be communicated to you by your lawyer with next steps, once it is received.